Tuesday, September 21, 2010

EQ7 practice, dyeing to meet you, Morning Glory!

I've been learning Electric Quilt 7 - a quilt design software - after watching all the videos and reading through several of the 'help' topics, I managed to design a couple of things I can share with you.
First I did the Block of the Month for my quilt guild, QCE:

I couldn't find this in my 'big block book', so I named it "Circling Geese" and now I'm wondering whether geese actually fly counter-clockwise... but there it is anyway!
I made up 14 kits, which are now in the hands of guild members, who will (hopefully) sew them all up and remember to bring them to the Oct. guild meeting and some lucky quilter will win them all!

The next thing I did was learn to create 'my library' folder where I could store all this year's Block of the Month designs. 

Then I practiced reshaping some applique shapes - nothing impressive to share on that yet, but it's coming along - maybe in another week or two!

Then I opened up a can of worms bunch of New York Beauty blocks and tried recoloring, rotating, etc. in a few different settings, and came up with one that I really like:
not that I have time to make it, but I like it!

...and the other thing that is going on in the kitchen annex of the studio is a batch (the last of the season) of morning glory dye.  I've been promising to tell how this is done, so here it is:

First go find a neighbor with a profusion of morning glory vines in a bright, dark color.  Pull all the flowers off the vines - just the flowers; no stems, bugs, stamen, etc.  JUST the trumpet part.  Pick all you can - at least all you can get away with...
Then, put them in a bowl and check for anything you DON'T want in your dye bath.

Rinse the flowers in plain water, drain and pack them into a mason jar.

sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then fill the jar with boiling water (filtered or distilled is best)

poke the flowers down into the water - they will float until all the air is released.  You might have to add a little more boiling water.
Now put the cap and ring on the jar and let it seal.
Store in a cool dark place like you do the rest of the canned goods - just don't try to use it for syrup!

it will look dark right away, but don't use it until it has a few days to brew....

When you are ready to dye your whatevers - cotton, hemp, shoelaces, socks, etc. - pour the contents through a coffee filter (set in a strainer) over a microwave safe glass bowl. You might also allow your 'sludge' to dry on some paper towels or fabric to get all the dye you possibly can out of the batch.

Submerge your intended objects in the dye bath and place in the microwave (assuming you have one) for about 3 minutes.  Allow to cool before you try to handle that bowl - the dye will be boiling hot!  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Remove from dye bath, squeeze out excess dye, and lay out or hang to dry (not outdoors).

I've dyed a hank of embroidery thread, pfd Kona cotton, and an old sock in this picture:

the pink blotches on the sock are from the KoolAid stains leftover on the paper towels I used to dry the sock on - that will be another blog...
the cotton was scrunched into a ball while it dried to get that nice texture.

These pieces are all waiting for a 'spring' project - there's a nip in the air this morning, so I'm off to look for seed pods.

If you try this, let me know how your results come out.  Remember to take pictures!
Bye for now,


  1. Great to see you are practicing on EQ!

  2. I try to practice EQ7 a little every day. It's getting easier!

  3. Thanks for the morning glory recipe. Have you ever tried pounding the flowers directly on the fabric? I've done it with leaves and pansies - really interesting effects!

  4. The pansy recipe looks like fun. I once tried 'flower pounding' but I couldn't bear to hit beautiful flowers with a hammer. I guess my hippie past is still with me.

  5. yes, I would have trouble with flower pounding MOST of the time - but it's easier with morning glories, since they only last one day anyway.
    I use a rubber mallet and Kona pfd cotton and it works great. helps relieve the stress, too!

  6. fabulous.... now I wonder if it will work with Jacaranda flowers, they are the most beautiful blue colour.ummm have to experiment.


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